Concert in Canada commemorates Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee presents Grammy Award-nominated Armenian Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian in concert with her husband, pianist Serouj Kradjian, and the Henrik Karapetyan String Quartet in My Songs, My Heritage at 7 p.m. March 7 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, the Press & Guide reports.

Concert selections include Armenian sacred hymns, folk songs, chamber music and 20th century songs, with English surtitles.

Bayrakdarian, a Canadian of Armenian heritage, immigrated to Canada as a teen. She graduated from the University of Toronto cum laude with a degree in biomedical engineering science in 1997, the same year she was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.

Her opera career, now in its second decade, makes her an eagerly anticipated artist at opera houses and concert halls worldwide. Celebrated for her multi-hued voice as well as her beauty, presence and style, Bayrakdarian’s career expands beyond opera.

She is a featured vocalist on the Grammy-award winning soundtrack of Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers, and topped Billboard charts as a guest soloist with the Canadian band Delerium on their 2007 Grammy nominated dance remix Angelicus.

Bayrakdarian won four consecutive Juno Awards, presented to Canadian musical artists for outstanding achievement in the recording industry, from 2004 to 2007, for classical album of the year, vocal or instrumental, for Azulao, Cleopatra, Viardot-Garcia: Lieder Chansons Canzone Mazurkas, and Mozart: Arie e Duetti.

Bayrakdarian received a Grammy nomination for the BBC-produced short film HOLOCAUST – A Music Memorial Film from Auschwitz. She was also the focus of a Canadian television Gemini-nominated film, A Long Journey Home, documenting her first trip to Armenia.

A century ago, the Armenian Genocide, planned by the leaders of the Ottoman Empire, systematically exterminated 1.5 million Armenians in what is now Turkey. The genocide had two phases: the wholesale killing of able-bodied men through massacre and forced army labor, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly, and the infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert. Military escorts, driving the deportees forward, deprived them of food and water, and subjected them to periodic robbery, rape and massacre.

In Michigan, the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Metro Detroit, comprised of 15 of the area’s leading Armenian-American organizations, has organized commemorative events throughout 2015 to honor the genocide victims, demand recognition and reparations, and increase public awareness of all genocides.

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